Via Podiensis or Le Puy Route
The Camino in France! A historical start in Auvergne from Le Puy en Velay.
The old Via Podiensis or Le Puy Route is one of the four main pilgrimage routes through France and is one of the most popular among pilgrims walking the Camino in France.
The Le Puy Route is stunning and boasts spectacular views of volcanic landscapes and stunning countryside. In terms of scenery, it is known for being one of the most interesting particularly to nature lovers.
Starting in Le Puy en Vale with its famous Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy , where pilgrims can be blessed each morning before starting their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The route goes from the high plateau of the Massif Central, dropping suddenly to follow the valley of the river Lot, where there is a series of fairy-tale villages. Crossing the Tarn and the Adour, the track enters the rich undulating expanses of Gascony before finally arriving at the Basque village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de- Port, the end of the French half of the pilgrimage and the beginning of the very famous French Way.
This route was used not only by French pilgrims but also by pilgrims coming from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech and Slovak republics. This route also joins with two alternative routes from Paris and Vézelay on the French side of the Pyrenees. You can learn more on our blog about the history of the Le Puy Route.
Since 2006, Follow the Camino has been the forerunner in creating trips along the whole Camino that are more manageable for today?s travellers. As with the other routes we have broken the 752km of the Le Puy Route down into 6 convenient sections. Each section is between 6 to 8 days long and we have selected the best accommodation along this route to give you a real feel for the French culture and an opportunity to sample local dishes.